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LSU and Virginia Tech Cap Off Labor Day Weekend With Big Wins

Photo Credit: Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The best part about Labor Day weekend is that gives people college football on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Technically, it’s five straight days of college football counting Thursday and Friday night games. But nonetheless, here we are.

The post Saturday weekend slate of Sunday night’s Miami vs LSU game and Monday night’s Virginia Tech vs Florida State game truly capped off the weekend in grand fashion.

Here’s the recap of both monster games.

Miami vs LSU

A rematch of the 2005 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl was well worth the wait. In 2005 LSU absolutely demolished Miami 40-3. Going into Sunday night’s game the focus was more on QB play. Miami QB Malik Rosier and LSU QB Joe Burrow went into Sunday night with tons of pressure on their shoulders.

Rosier came in more of the veteran senior mould, while Burrow, the transfer from Ohio State, came in more of the rookie mould. Off the bat, LSU seemed to have defensive momentum, and the first quarter was very close and contested. Then the second quarter came around.

LSU was only leading 10-3 when they scored another TD, followed by a field goal on their second possession of the quarter. With a 20-3 lead, Rosier threw a pick six that extended LSU’s lead to 27-3. All of a sudden, the game was out of hand and seemed very reminiscent of the 2005 matchup.

Simply put, by halftime, Miami looked awful. They had over 70 yards in penalties and were 0-6 on third down conversions. LSU had all the momentum and QB Joe Burrow looked composed and prepared. Miami and Rosier looked like the complete opposite.

The second half started out just the same as LSU continued to shred Miami’s defense while Miami’s offensive line started to resemble five revolving doors as they seemed to let any and every LSU defender through. Miami eventually got down 33-3 late in the third quarter and a repeat of 2005 was definitely in the cards.

Going into the fourth quarter the game was basically over. It was so over I started another fantasy football draft. Miami even scored twice in the fourth quarter and the sentiment was still a “this is over” mindset.

LSU looked very impressive and Miami looked like an overrated Mark Richt team not prepared for a big game. Basically, both teams picked up where they left off last year.

Virginia Tech vs Florida State

The long weekend ended with a great ACC matchup of two heavyweights in the conference looking to make a push to be the one to challenge Clemson this season. Florida State came out in all black uniforms, which looked sharp, but it seemed to take their defense until the second quarter to realize they were playing football.

FSU wore all black for Monday night’s game against Virginia Tech. Photo Credit: @FSUFootball Twitter

The Hokies jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and forced an FSU turnover in the process. Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson looked improved from his freshman campaign last year, and the Hokies’ defense played solid against a fast FSU offense.

The Seminoles were able to cut into the Hokies’ lead by making a short field goal halfway through the second quarter. However, a blocked punt returned for a TD by Virginia Tech extended the lead to 17-3 late in the second quarter. The blocked punt was well timed in the game as it went along with the theme of half for the FSU offensive line: inability to do one’s job.

On the ensuing possession, FSU would continue to shoot themselves in the foot as QB Deondre Francois threw an interception on the first play of the drive. Granted, the FSU defense forced Virginia Tech to punt on their drive after the interception, but when the Noles got the ball back they still couldn’t generate anything of substance. By halftime the score was still 17-3, but the storyline was how great Virginia Tech’s defense had played.

Coming out in the second half, FSU got the ball and essentially did nothing with it on their first offensive drive, but so did Virginia Tech. FSU struggled to find offensive balance and consistency, while their defense was able to find some semblance of continuity as they forced Virginia Tech to punt on back-to-back drives.

In the final minute of the third quarter Virginia Tech was finally able to crack the red zone in the second half, but it was the FSU defense who won the battle and made a goal line stand on 4th and Goal at the one yard line. Going into the fourth quarter FSU had run ten total offensive plays. Nine of them went for 0 or negative yards. To say FSU’s offense struggled would be an astronomical understatement.

The fourth quarter was looking as if it would produce the same results as the previous three for both teams: strong defenses, offensive inability, and lack of consistency. Then, FSU RB Cam Akers broke an 84 yard run to the Virginia Tech five yard line. Three plays later FSU fumbled on a play that resembled a disastrous Chinese fire drill.

After the fumble, Virginia Tech was finally able to find the endzone in the second half as Jackson found WR Eric Kumah on a 49 yard catch-and-run which put the Hokies up 24-3 late in the game. This TD took FSU emotionally out of the game, and a Francois interception on the next drive basically put FSU out of its misery for good.

In the end the Hokies looked very impressive as they won 24-3. Florida State, however, struggled mightily throughout. It may not be the Seminoles’ year, but at least now there’s a little more clarity as to who may be the team to best challenge Clemson in the ACC.

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